BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced that Massachusetts has received an $11.7 million federal grant to continue its public-health response to the opioid epidemic and bolster community overdose prevention, outpatient opioid treatment, and recovery services across the Commonwealth. This is the second consecutive year the state has received the funding, bringing the two-year total to $23.8 million.
“The opioid and heroin epidemic have led to heartbreaking addiction and losses for too many families in the Commonwealth, and this critical funding will increase support for important services like recovery coaches and medication-assisted treatment,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is one of the only states in the nation to see a slight decrease in opioid-related deaths, but there is much work to be done to address this public-health crisis, including passage of our administration’s bill, the CARE Act, to build on opioid prevention, intervention, recovery and treatment.”
This grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is the second round of funding authorized under the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in December 2016. The funds address the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment needs, and reducing opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid-use disorder. It supports existing statewide services managed by the state Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.
In addition to this new federal funding, through administrative actions, the Baker-Polito administration will invest up to $219 million over five years from the state’s 1115 Medicaid waiver, starting in the fiscal year 2018, to meet the needs of individuals with addictions and/or co-occurring disorders. These funds will expand residential recovery services, increase access to medication-assisted treatment, add new recovery coaches and navigators, and implement a consistent clinical assessment tool throughout the treatment system. Since 2015, the administration has doubled spending to address the opioid crisis and added more than 1,100 treatment beds, including 748 adult substance-use treatment beds at different treatment levels, and certified more than 162 sober homes, accounting for an additional 2,184 beds.